By Gabriele Giorgi (Darak), OnRPG Journalist
NHN finally arrives in Europe with Karos Online, a Free to Play MMO with a fantasy setting. The game is currently in Closed Beta, both on the eastern and the western market.
It's a brand new MMORPG, so we are not talking about an existing title modified to appease the European players.
From the 21st to the 23rd of August the first Beta weekend took place: the participants had the chance to experiment some of the playable races (currently three, but they will be five at launch) and the corresponding classes.
Classes and races revealed so far are pretty standard for a fantasy world: there are humans, with the role of warriors; the graceful Shadows, gifted with stealth abilities; the Seroine, specialized in ranged combat with bows. Every class will have to choose between two different specialisations later in the game. The pairing race/class, predetermined in the Beta phase, will have more freedom at launch, when each race will be allowed more classes to choose from.
Many of the features are what we could expect from this kind of game (quests, mounts, PvP, etc.), but some of them might set aside Karos Online from other popular titles.
First of all, the main form of energy in the world of Karos is called Fletta: it can be used in many ways (you can imbue weapons with it or use it for crafting... or, banally, you can sell it, since it's in high demand) and can be extracted in specific mines. The control of these sites will be a major component of the game, and guilds will be able to try and secure those mines to get as much Fletta as possible before the location is marked to be conquerable again by other people (but it can be defended, of course): in short, a new kind of PvP meant to have tangible consequences on the balance of power and the economy of the game.
Another innovative mechanics in Karos can be found in the event-driven dungeons: getting rid of the monsters inside such complexes, we can open a passage, make a section of the floor cave-in and something like that. Among the mobs, there will always be one triggering a specific event like those described above; however, this does not mean that we have to follow a pre-ordered path; quite the contrary: there will be many forks to reach the classic final boss, and maybe some of them can lead us to more interesting loot.
Alongside this type of dungeon, there will be another mazelike one: walls will rise and fall in a preset period of time, or, as before, when you kill a random mob: you will have to make your way through with extreme caution, since nobody knows what the next wall might hide.
As a final note, much like many eastern games, Karos will sport excellent animations and graphics, especially considering the limited dimension of the client.